Lapsang Souchong, also known as smoked tea, is one of the oldest, most distinct black tea. This is a rich tea, with a unique, smoky flavor.
Grown in the Wuji mountains of the Fujian provenance of China, the preparation of this tea was once a secretive process passed down among families. Today it is only prepared by a select few estates.
According to one anecdotal story, one night during the Taipei rebellion in the 17th century, rebel troops were billeted at a tea processing station in Star Village (Xing Can). When they left, the proprietor discovered that the troops had taken bags of freshly picked leaves and laid them out around the fires to use for their bedding . To his consternation, the leaves had turned a dark color and developed a distinct aroma. Anxious to be rid of the leaves, he tasked workers with quickly drying the leaves so they could be sent to the market. The workers, for the sake of expediency, dried the leaves in baskets over smoky pine fires and shipped them off. The proprietor was pleasantly surprised to discover that foreigners enjoyed the tea and began placing standing orders each year, and Lapsang Souchong was born.
Today the process of making the tea is slightly different. Estates use pine, cypress, or cedar wood to dry the leaves. The leaves are pan-fried in dry woks before being rolled and pressed into bamboo or wooden baskets. The baskets are covered with fabric and the tea leaves aged until the leaves give off a distinct aroma. The leaves are then taken out of the baskets, dry-fried again, and put on wooden racks to cool. Once cooled, the leaves are put into different bamboo baskets that are hung over wood fires until the leaves are very dry. At this point, the leaves are cut into strips, rolled, and smoked once more. The result is glossy dry leaves, that produce an aromatic, smoky red liquid when brewed.
Lapsang Souchong sometimes gets a bad rep as being harsh and brashly smoky, these characteristics are signs pf leaves that have been overly processes (like jerky that has been dried to the point that it’s like rubber). Our Lapsang Souchong is a premium tea that offers a slightly cool smokiness with a sweet pine flavor. It pairs exceptionally well with savory or spicy dishes, especially pork.
Lapsang Souchong isn’t just for drinking though, it’s an amazing addition to your culinary repertoire too. Whether you use it to add smoky flavor to dishes (without affecting the nutritional values), add to rubs and seasoning blends, or brew in your rice water before preparing the rice, you’ll wow friends and family with this new flavor!
This tea contains caffeine.
Smoked black tea leaves
Teas are like people, each is different and there is no one way to prepare a cup. Use this as a starting point for brewing this tea as you explore its unique characteristics. You may find different times of day or moods, you like to use more or less tea, brew it for a different amount of time….Whatever you do, have fun discovering your perfect cup!
1-2 tsp/5-10 grams
8 oz/237 ml
Some teas are recommended for brewing with boiling water, while others are brewed at lower temperatures. Even when brewing a tea at a lower temperature, it is recommended that you first boil the water (to kill bacteria etc.) and then allow the water to cool to the correct temperature (ice cubes speed up the process). While you can certainly brew any tea with boiling water, it will change the flavor of the tea.
Grown and prepared in China.